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  • Whats better, No torque wrench or a cheap torque wrench
  • Premier Icon stevepitch
    Free Member

    Or do people even use torque wrenches at all?

    Only asking after I removed my cranks and after putting them on ask my lbs to check I had done them up properly, apparently the bolt was no way near tight enough!!!

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    Or do people even use torque wrenches at all?

    Nope. But then I’m probably going to die 🙄

    Premier Icon TandemJeremy
    Free Member

    No torque wrench. reliance on a cheap / out of adjustment one can lead you to breaking bolts out of a false sense of security.

    Far better to develop the feel for bolts tightness and to understand what is happening when you tighten a bolt. You are looking to have stretched the bolt but not beyond its elastic limit ie not to the point it permanently deforms. so hand tight until there is no play then a bit beyond that so you can feel the resistance building.

    Using light hand pressure on allen keys gives you about the right torque for most bolts

    Premier Icon stumpy01
    Full Member

    ^ What TJ says.

    Even decent torque wrenches can have a wide accuracy range and I wouldn’t want to get too dependent on whether the ‘number’ is right, over whether something feels right.

    Premier Icon stevepitch
    Free Member

    No torque wrench. reliance on a cheap / out of adjustment one can lead you to breaking bolts out of a false sense of security.

    Good point but lets say you need to tighten up your bottom bracket to 35 – 41 Nm and you use a ‘cheap’ torque that has an accuracy of +/- 10%. If you tighten the Bottom bracket to 38 NM you’ll be tightening the bottom bracket to either 34.2 or 41.8 which must be better then either having the bottom bracket way under the recommended torque specifications or over tightening it and doing damage to your frame.

    Interestingly I was taught that allen keys are the respective size in order to allowing for for the correct force to be used and you should use one hand then until the bolt stops moving then ‘nip’ it just a touch more.

    I suppose I’m just interested at how many people actually use / own torque wrenches as I’ve toyed with the idea of getting one (and expanding the tool selection) so that I dont have to keep going to the bike shop everytime I need do something like tightening up my cranks or bottom bracket.

    Premier Icon stanley
    Full Member

    Without sounding like a git,.. if you are asking this question then probably no torque wrench.
    The problem is that even with the best torque wrench in the world, if you don’t hold it and use it properly then you will over tighten things.

    Seen this done with expensive consequences a number of times.

    Best to learn some “feel”. Or learn how to use a good torque wrench! (I don’t think you really need the second option on push bikes though).

    Premier Icon stumpy01
    Full Member

    stevepitch – Member

    Good point but lets say you need to tighten up your bottom bracket to 35 – 41 Nm and you use a ‘cheap’ torque that has an accuracy of +/- 10%. If you tighten the Bottom bracket to 38 NM you’ll be tightening the bottom bracket to either 34.2 or 41.8 which must be better then either having the bottom bracket way under the recommended torque specifications or over tightening it and doing damage to your frame.

    Thing is – I can’t remember ever having a situation where I have found a bolt loose through under-tightening, or too tight that I have struggled to undo it or had it damage a frame/component.
    Perhaps regularly dealing with mechanical assemblies at work has given me a bit more experience to get it right (??) but I am not so sure it is that difficult to feel when a bolt is tight enough.

    Premier Icon Grimy
    Free Member

    I don’t disagree with learning to feel the correct torque on a bolt. But I’d suggest that for the majority of cyclists whos profession revolves about a keyboard and mouse, with little or no pre exposure to a torque wrench on which to gain comparison of torque settings and how they feel, should be wise to buy one. Even a reasonably priced one will give better results than that of a manual guestimate. I wouldn’t get too hung up with the accuracy either, so long as you buy something of reasonable quality from even halfords, it will be near enough for any application on a push bike so long as youve chosen it’s range wisely.

    Premier Icon stanley
    Full Member

    Grimy- fair point, but the torque wrench MUST be used properly. It isn’t as simple as setting the torque required and off you go.

    90 degree angles and proper support of the wrench are essential. Fail to do this and you will have snapped bolts in expensive bits of aluminium. Or worse.

    Not just IT desk jockies either- I’ve seen chartered mechanical engineers that can’t hold a spanner properly.

    Premier Icon esselgruntfuttock
    Free Member

    I don’t use one. What you really need is experience, to know when a thread is just about to strip, then you stop & it’s tight enough.
    (disclaimer) But this isn’t the case in every application.

    Premier Icon shedfull
    Free Member

    Using a torque wrench on every bolt would be silly, but they’re really good for getting even torque when it’s important that two or more bolts are evenly torqued. The stripped splines on lots of left hand Shimano cranks are testimony to uneven torques between the two bolts.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    Depends on the mechanic. I know some people who can’t be trusted near a bolt. Including one guy who has a mental tick that makes him say “Tight as **** tight as **** tight as ****” over and over when he’s tightening up bolts.

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Full Member

    They’re a waste of time generally but there’s nothing wrong with getting one and seeing what 40 Nm feels like. Then sell / give it to someone else so they can experience the same.

    The sole time I can ever remember it being pseudo-useful was in tracking a really annoying creak. It can be good to know that the bb and crank bolts are unequivocally torqued to spec when you’re crossing off potential causes of the creak.

    Premier Icon mudshark
    Free Member

    Very useful when getting a carbon frame replaced under warranty as I managed to do once I’d proved I used a torque wrench and they’d tested it.

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